tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 14, 2009 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT
they had sought before the court. and my dissent was just pointing out that despite the great tragedy, that the rule of law commanded a different result. >> and it was probably very hard, but you had to do it. here's another case. washington versus county of rockland, rockland is a county, a suburb of new york, which was a case involving black corrections officers who claimed that they were retaliated against after filing discrimination claims. remember that case? >> i do. >> did you have sympathy for the officers filing that case? >> well, to the extent that any office -- that anyone believes that they have been discriminated on the basis of race, that not only violates the law, but it -- one would have -- i wouldn't use the word sympathy, but one would have a
sense that this claim is of some importance and one that the court should very seriously consider. >> right. >> because i'm sure, like judge alito said and others, you had suffered discrimination in your life as well, so you could understand how they might feel, whether they were right or wrong in the outcome, in the filing. >> i have been more fortunate than most. the discrimination that i have felt has not been as life-altering as it has for others, but i certainly do understand it because it is a part of life that i'm familiar with and have seen others suffer so much with as i have in my situation. >> now, let me ask you again, how did you feel ruling against law enforcement officers, the kind of people you have told us repeatedly you've spent your career working with, d.a.'s office and elsewhere, and for whom you have tremendous
respect? >> as with all cases where i might have a feeling of some identification with them because of background or because of experiences, one feels a sense of understanding what they have experienced, but in that case, as in the twa case, the ruling that endorsed against them was required by law. >> here's another one. it was called boykin versus key corps, a case in which an african-american woman filed suit after being denied a home equity loan even after her loan application was conditionally approved based on her credit report. she claimed that she was denied the opportunity to own a home because of her race, her sex and the fact that her prospective home was in a minority-concentrated neighborhood. she didn't even have a lawyer or anyone else to interpret the
procedural rules for her. she filed the suit on her own. did your sympathy for the woman seeking a home loan from the bank? >> clearly, he haeveryone has sympathy for an individual who wants to own their own home. that's the typical dream and aspiration, i think, of most americans. and if someone is denied that chance or reason that they believe is improper, one would recognize it and understand their feelings. >> right. and in fact, you ruled that her claim wasn't timely. rather than overlooking the procedural problems with the case, you held fast to the complicated rules that keep our system working efficiently, even if it meant that claims of discrimination a could not be heard. we never got to whether she was actually discriminated against because she didn't file in a
timely manner. is my summation there accurate? do you want to elaborate? >> yes, in terms of the part of the claim that we held was barred by the statute of limitation. in my -- in a response to the earlier question, to an earlier question, i indicated that the law requires some finality and that's why congress passes or state legislature passes statutes of limitations that require people to bring their claims within certain timeframes. those are statutes and they must be followed if the situation -- if they apply to a particular situation. >> finally, will let's look at a case that cuts the other way with a pretty repugnant lit gant this is a case called pappas versus giuliani and you considered claims of a police
employee who was fired for distributing terribly bigoted and racist materials. first what did you think of the speech in question that this officer was distributing? >> nobody, including the police officer, was claiming that the speech wasn't offensive, racist and insulting. there was a question what his purpose was in sending the letter, but my opinion dissent in that case pointed out that offensiveness and racism to of the letter but i -- i issued a dissent from the majority's affirmance of his dismissal from the police department of those letters. >> right. as i understand it you wrote that the actually the chur that the police officer was
distributing was "patently offensive, hateful and insulting" but you also noted that, quote, and is your words in a dissent, where the majority was on the other side, "three decades of jurisprudence and the centrality of first amendment freedoms in our lives" that's your quote, "the employee a's right to speech had to be respected." >> the situation of that case, that was the position that i took because that's what i believed the law commanded. >> even though, obviously, wouldn't have much sympathy or empathy for this officer or his actions, that correct? >> i don't think anyone has sympathy for what was undisputedly a racist statement, but the first amendment commands that we respect people's rights to engaging in hateful speech. >> right. now, i'm just going to go to a group of cases here rather than
one individual case. we could go -- we could do this all day long, where sympathy, empathy would be on one side, but you found rule of law on the other side and you sided with rule of law. and so, you know, again, to me, analyzing a speech and taking words maybe out of context doesn't come close to analyzing the cases as to what kind of judge you'll be and that's what i'm trying to do here. this one, my office conducted an analysis of your record in immigration cases as well as the record of your colleague. and in conducting this analysis, i came across a case entitled chen v board of immigration appeals, where your colleagues said something very interesting. this was judge john newman, he is a very respected judge on your circuit. he said something very interesting when discussing asylum cases, specifically, he said the following this is judge newman, "we know of no way to apply precise calibers to all
assay lum cases so the viewing of any 3 of the 23 judges of this court as either sustainable or not sustainable. panels will have to do what all judges do in similar circumstances, provide their best judgment, guided by the statutory standard governing review and the holdings of our precedents to the administrative decision and the record assembled to support it." in effect what judge newman is saying is these cases would entertain more subjective, let's say, because as he said, you could cite many of them as sustainable or not sustainable. so given the subjective that exists in the asue limb cases, it's clear that if you wanted to be "an activist judge" you could have certainly found ways to rule in favor of sympathetic asylum see even when the rule of law might have been more murky
and not dictated an exact result. yet in the nearly 850 cases you have decided inned second circuit, you ruled in favor of the government that is against the petitioner seeking asylum, immigrants seeking asylum, 83% of the time. that happens to be the exact statistical median rate for your court. it's not one way or the other. this means that with regard to immigration, you were neither more liberal nor more conservative than your colleague, you simply did what judge newman said. you applied your best swrumt to the record at hand. now can you discuss your approach to immigration cases, explain to this panel and the american people the flex bill that judges have in this context and your use of this flexibility in a very moderate manner? >> reasonable judges look at the same set of facts and may
disagree on what those facts should result in. it harkins back to the question of wise men and wise women being judges. reasonable people disagree. that was my understanding of judge newman's comments in the quotation you made. in immigration cases, we have a different level of review because it's not the judge making the decision whether to grant or not grant asylum, it's an administrative body. and i know that i will -- i'm being a little inexact but i think using old terminology is better than using new terminology. and by that, i mean the agency that most people know as the bureau of immigration has a new name now, but that it's more
descriptive than its new name. >> ice. some people think the new name is descriptive. >> in immigration cases, an asylum seeker can present before an immigration judge and they can then appeal to the bureau of immigration and argue that there was some procedural default or that the immigration judge or the bureau itself has committed some error of law. they then are entitled, by law, to appeal directly to the second circuit. in those cases, because they are administrative decisions, we are required under the chevron dock rine a -- doctrine and other tests of
administrative law to give deference to those decisions. but like all processes, there are occasions when processes are not followed and an appellate court has to ensure that the rights of the asylum seeker have been -- whatever those rights may be have been given. there are other situations in which an administrative body hasn't adequately explained its reasoning. there are other situations where administrative bodies have actually applied erroneous law. no institution is perfect. and so that accounts for why, given the deference, and i'm assuming your statistic is right, senator, but i don't add up the numbers, okay? >> all right. >> but i do know that in immigration cases, the vast majority of the bureau of
investigation cases are -- the petitions for review are denied. so that means -- >> right. the only point i'm making here if some are seeking to suggest that your empathy or sympathy overrules rule of law this is a pretty good body of law to look at. a, it's a lot of cases, 850. b, one would think, i'm not going to ask you to state it, that you will have sympathy for immigrants and immigration. >> chuck schumer asking questions designed to show that sonia sotomayor actually went against her ethnic heritage, went against her gender in making decisions while on the u.s. federal court. we are going to continue our coverage. thighs historic hearings will resume right after this. mr. evans? this is janice from onstar. i have received an automatic signal you've been in a front-end crash. do you need help? yeah. i'll contact emergency services and stay with you.
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welcome back. we are watching these confirmation hearings before the senate judiciary committee. sonia sotomayor is answering questions being posed by one of her closest allies if not her closest ally on the committee, senator chuck schumer, democrat of the home state of new york. they are talking about lots of stuff that's going on, but one of the subtexts certainly is a democratic desire to get some republican on board. john king is here with us. and we have been saying, there are seven republicans on this committee and potentially three of them might, in fact, vote to confirm. >> the white house hopes that will. i will walk over to the wall as we continue the conversation. they go into, this the white house, preparing potentially for a party line vote that would be enough. 12 democrats on the committee and believe they will get all 12 of those votes and send judge sotomayor to the floor with the support of the committee, but they do think it is possible, of
course, prefer some bipartisan support. i'm going to start with senator orrin hatch. we heard him this morning, first elected 1976, re-elected. he is on this committee. let's look at his background here, in the sense he was the former chairman of this committee, as you noted earlier. served on the committee now more than 20 years. he has been an attorney for some time. let's bring up his more recent history, get this to cooperate. voted on 11 supreme court nominees and he has supported all of them since joining the senate. that is one reason the white house believes even though he disagreed with judge sotto may we are some issues, the president will get his pick as long as she is qualified there is one they believe they can get right there another one they believe they can get is senator lindsey graham. he has only had two votes before to on supreme court nominations, he has supported justice roberts, chief justice roberts and justice alito. now, he has said he is troubled by her wise latina comments they have spent so much time on today. another thing lindsey graham says, nobody worked harder for john mccain than he did in the past election but elections have consequences, president obama
won. the democrats believe, they don't have it yet, but they believe they can get lindsey graham's vote. and the last one is senator chuck grassley, who was very tough in his questioning earlier about property rights. he has said he is troubled by some of her remarks as well, chuck grassley opposed judge sotomayor in 1998 when she was up for the appeals court why do they think it is possible to perhaps get senator grassley's vote, they think because of this he was re-elected with 70% in 2004 but his seat is up in 2010. barack obama carried it handily, trending to be a more democratic state. they think -- iowa, excuse me. they think there is a possibility senator grassley might find some pressure at home to support this nominee, so they believe they might be able to get grassley, might be able to get graham and think they are likely to get senator hatch, unless something happens there. our peter hamm talked to senator hatch during one of the last breaks and said are you going to vote for her? he said he didn't say that he thought she anticipated some of the questions well, others not so well. the hearings will continue. again, the democrats don't need
any republican votes but think it would send a big signal to the full senate, wolf if they could get two or three and those are the ones they think are good possibilities. >> i know that senator hatch voted to confirm the democratic nominee steven brier and ruth bader ginsburg during the bill clinton administration. did chuck grassley vote to confirm both of those democratic nominees do we know? >> have the votes here. we can see. supported all senate -- all supreme court nominees since joining the senate. that one of the wonders of having the magic wall and data at your disposal. he opposed sotomayor at the lower level but supported all supreme court picks again. he is one of the old toer, traditional senators who says president wins the election, a president gets his choice unless the judge is unqualified. because of this, he might say he can't support her now but the white house in private conversations with him believe it is possible. >> very interesting stuff. candy crowly, the next questioner is going to be lindsey graham, republican of south carolina. he, yesterday, made the pointed
no one supported john mccain more aggressively, more enthusiastically than he did. and john mccain lost. barack obama won. elections have consequences. >> absolutely. and one could make a case while orrin hatch has been head of the judiciary committee that -- and while chuck grassley also respected on the senate side but lindsey graham would be a pretty important get and a pretty important signal to the senate. he is a conservative southerner and as he mentioned, very visible during the mccain campaign. his decision, he has had some very skeptical questions but his decision to move forward, if he does it, and support sotomayor out of committee sends -- does send a really strong signal. >> gloria, doesn't seem to be any waivering among those 60 democrats, 58 democrats, two independents who vote with the democratics, caucus with them. they all seem to be on board, which is more than enough to get her confirmed.
>> this maybe the only issue in which there is unanimity among the democrats these days but i think there is. the interesting thing about senator grassley is that in 199 8, dole is vote against sotomayor. >> when she was up for the court of appeals. >> when she was up for the court of appeals and hatch did vote for her at that time. so, that can also give you an indication. another thing -- >> she was -- unanimously voted without opposition, originally went to the district. >> exactly. >> district court. >> and another thing saying about chuck grassley and maybe you could speak to this alex, he is so important to the democrats these days because of health care reform as well. he has really become this key senator from a state that's very important presidential state, very important state to barack obama, sort of launched his candidacy and he finds himself sort of at the center of every big fight now that the administration is waging. >> senator grassley is a key player in the health care debate that is why the tone of these
hearings is as important as the substance. so far, they have been very civilized. there have been respectful differences. we haven't seen anything here that a would, you know, rupture relationships that are important for other issues. but on the lindsey graham issue, he, yes, also i thought yesterday was incredibly civil and supportive of the old standard that a president should get his nominee, but he also said, i'm concerned about your speeches. i'm concerned about some of the things you've said and we are going to talk about. as a matter of fact, at one point he said if i had said something like you said, i would be drummed out of the senate. he said we would talk about that tomorrow. so, that's going to be interesting. >> meaning if he would have said that a wise white man can make a better decision than a latina woman that would have been a career-ender for him? >> i'm surprised that no senator has yet asked this nominee, "judge sotomayor, if you were sitting here where i am and i would be sitting where you were, and i said exactly that, that a
wise white man would reach -- male would reach a better decision, would you vote for me?" >> we will see if he raises that issue, because he has -- >> i know what her answer would be. context. >> he has made that point. we are getting ready to hear from lindsey graham, but this is certainly going to be one of the highlights of this confirmation process. he is next in line to start asking questions, 30 minutes of uninterrupted questioning by lindsey graham. that's coming up.
all right. this is a highlightright now. republican senator lindsey graham, one of the most outspoken members of the judiciary committee is now questioning sonia sotomayor and try to pin her down to find out where she stands on issues involving the supreme court. >> the constitution has not changed except by amendment. it is a process -- amendment process that is set forth in the document. it doesn't live, other than to be timeless, by the expression of what it says.
what changes is society. what changes is the facts a judge may get -- >> what is the best way for society to change, generally speaking? what's the most legitimate way for society to change? >> i don't know if i can use the word change. society changes because there's been new developments in technology, medicine, inz society growing. there's -- >> do you think judges -- do you think judges have changed society by some of the landmark decisions in the last 40 years? >> well, in the last few years? >> 40 years. >> i'm sorry, you said -- >> 40. i'm sorry. 40. 4-0. do you think rowe v wade changed american society? >> roe vs. wade looked at the constitution and decided that
the constitution is applied to a claims right applied. >> is there anything in the constitution that says a state legislator of the congress cannot regulate abortion or the definition of life in the first trimester? >> the holding of the court as -- >> i'm asking the constitution. does the constitution as written prohibit a legislative body at the state or federal level from defining life or regulating the rights of the unborn or protecting the rights of the unborn in the first trimester? >> the constitution in the 14th amendment has a -- >> is there anything in the document written about abortion? >> the word abortion is not used in the constitution but the constitution does have a broad
provision concerning a liberty provision under the due process. >> and that gets us to the speeches. that broad provision of the constitution has taken us from no written prohibition protecting the unborn, no written statement that you can't voluntarily pray in school and on and on and on and on. and that's what drives us here, quite frankly, that's my concern. and when we talk about balls and strikes, maybe that is not the right way to talk about it but a lot of us feel that the best way to change society is to go to the ballot box, elect someone and if they are not doing it right, get rid of them in the electoral process. a lot of us are concerned from the left and the right that
unelected judges are very quick to change society in a way that's disturbing. can you understand how people may feel that way? >> certainly. >> now, let's talk about you. i like you, by the way, for whatever that matters. since i may vote for you, that ought to matter to you. one thing that stood out about your record is when you look at the almanac of the federal judiciary, lawyers anonymously rate judges in terms of temperament. and here's what they said about you. she is a tear on the bench. she is temperamental, excitable, she seems angry. she is overly aggressive, not very judicial. she does not have a very good temperament. she abuses lawyers. she really lacks judicial
temperament. she believes in an -- behaves in an out-of-control manner. she makes inappropriate outbursts. she is nasty to lawyers. she will attack lawyers for making the argument she does not like. she can be a bit of a bully. when you look at the evaluation of the judges on the second circuit, you stand out like a sore thumb, in terms of your temperament. what is your answer to these criticisms? >> i do ask tough questions at oral argument. >> are you the only one that asks tough questions in oral arguments? >> no. not at all. i can only explain what i'm doing, which is when i ask lawyers tough questions, it's to give them an opportunity to explain their positions on both sides and to persuade me that
they are right, i do know that in the second circuit, because we only give litigants ten minutes of oral argument each, that the processes in the second circuit are different than in most other circuits across the country. and that some lawyers do find that our court, which is not just me but our court generally is described as a hot bench. it's a term our lawyers use. it means that they are peppered with questions. lots of lawyers who are unfamiliar with the processes of the second circuit find that tough bench difficult. and challenging. >> if i may, judge, they find you difficult and challenging more than your colleagues. and the only reason i mention
this is that it stands out to. when you -- you know there are many positive things about you and these hearings are designed to talk about the good and the bad and i never liked appearing before a judge that i thought was a bully. it is hard enough being a lawyer, having your client there to begin with without the judge just beating you up for no good reason. do you think off temperament problem? >> no, sir. i can only talk about what i know about my relationship with the judges of my court and with the lawyers who appear regularly from our circuit. and i believe that my reputation is such that i ask the hard questions but i do it evenly for both sides. >> in fairness to you there are plenty of statements in the record in support of you as a person that do not go down this
line. but i would just suggest to you, for what it's worth, judge, as you go forward here, that these statements about you are striking. they are not about your colleagues. you know, the ten-minute rule applies to everybody and that, you know, obviously, you have accomplished a lot in your life, but maybe these hearings are a time for self-reflection. this is pretty tough stuff that you don't see from -- about other judges on the second circuit. let's talk about the wise latino comment yet again. and the on reason i want to talk about it yet again is i think what you said, let me just put my vices on the table here. one of the things i constantly say when i talk about the war on terror is that one of the missing ingredients in the middle east is the rule of law that senator schumer talked about, that the hope for the middle east, iraq and afghanistan, is that there will be a courtroom one day that if you find yourself in that court it will be what you allegedly
did, not who you are. it won't be about whether you are a sunni, shia, a kurd or what it will be about what you did and that is the hope of the world really, that our legal system, even though we fail at times, will spread. and i hope one day there will be more women serving in elective offices and judicial offices in the middle east. i can tell you from my point of view, one of the biggest problems in iraq and afghanistan is a mother's voice is seldom heard about the fate of her children and if you wanted to change iraq, apply the rule of law and have more women involved in having a say about iraq. and i believe that about afghanistan. and i think that's true here. i think for a long time, a lot of talented women were asked, can you type? and we are trying to get beyond
and improve as a nation. so when it comes to the idea that we should cannily try to include more people in the legal process and the judicial process from different backgrounds count me in. but your speeches don't really say that to me. they -- along the lines with what senator kyle was saying, they represent the idea, there is a day coming when there will be more of us, women and minorities and we are going to change the law. and what i hope we will take away from this hearing there need to be more women and my nors in the law to make a better america and the law needs to be there for all of us, if and when we need it. and the one thing i've tried to impress upon you through jokes
and being serious is the consequences of these words and the world in which we live in. now, we are talking about putting you on the supreme court and judging your fellow citizens. and one of the things i need to be assured of is that you understand the world as it pretty much really is. and we got a long way to go in this country, and i can't find the quote but i will find it here in a moment, the wise latino quote. do you remember it? >> yes. >> okay. >> say to me. nch>> can you recite it from memory? i got it. all right. "i would hope that a wise latina
woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male" and the only reason i keep talking about this is that i'm in politics. and you got to watch what you say because, one, you don't want to offense people you're' trying to represent. but do you understand, ma'am, if i had said anything like that and my reasoning was, i was trying to inspire somebody, they would have had my head. do you understand that? >> i do understand how those words could be taken that way, particularly if read in isolation. >> well, i don't know how you could take that lindsey graham said i would make a better senator than x because of my
experience as a caucasian male make as me better able to represent the people of south carolina. and my to opponent was a minority. it would make national news and it should. having said that i am not going to judge you by that one statement. i just hope you appreciate the world in which we live in, that you can say those things, meaning to inspire somebody and still have a chance to get on the supreme court. others could not remotely come close to that statement and survive, whether that's right or wrong, i think that's fact. does that make sense to you? >> it does and i would hope that
we have come in america to the place where we can look at a statement that could be misunderstood and consider it in the context of the person's life. >> you know if that comes of this hearing, the hearing has been worth it all, that some people deserve a second chance when they misspeak. and you would look at the entire life story to determine if this is an aberrations or just a reflection of your real soul. if that comes from this hearing, then we have probably done the country some good. now let's talk about the times in which we live in. you are from new york. grown up in new york your whole life? >> my entire life. >> what did september 11th, 2001, mean to you? >> it was the most horrific experience of my personal life
and the most horrific experience in imagining the pain of the families of victims of that tragedy. >> do you know anything about the group that planned this attack, who they are and what they believe? have you read anything about them? >> i've followed the newspaper accounts, read books in the area. i believe i have an understanding of that. >> what would a woman's life be in their world if they could control a government or a part of the world? what do they have in store for women? >> i understand that some of them have indicated that women are not equal to men. >> i think that is a very charitable statement. >> do you believe that we are at
war? >> we are, sir. we have -- we have tens and thousands of soldiers in the battle fields of afghanistan and iraq. we are at war. >> are you familiar with military law much at all? and if you are to the that's okay. >> no no, no, i'm thinking because i've never practiced in the area. i've only read the supreme court decisions in this area. >> right. >> i've obviously examined, by preferencing cases, some of the procedures involved in military law, but i'm not personally familiar with military law. i haven't participated. >> i understand. from what you've read and what you understand about the enemy that this country faces, do you believe there are people out there right now plotting our
destruction? given the announcements of certain groups and the messages that have been sent with videotapes, et cetera, announcing that intent and the answer of it would be based on that, yes. >> under the law of armed conflict, and this is where i may differ a bit with my colleagues, is an international concept, the law of armed conflict. under the law of armed conflict, do you agree with the following statement, that if a person is detained who is properly identified through accepted legal procedures under the law of armed conflict as a part of the enemy force, there is no requirement, based on a length of time that they be returned to the battle or released.
in other words, if you capture a member of the enemy force, is it your understanding of the law that you have to at some some period of time, let them go back to the fight? >> it's difficult to answer that question in the abstract for the reason i have indicateded later. i have not been a student of the law of war, other than to -- >> we will have another round. i know you will have a lot of things to do but try to -- try to look at that. look at that general legal concept and the legal concept i'm espousing is that under the law of war, article 5 specifically of the geneva convention requires a detaining authority to allow an impartial he decisionmaker to determine the question of status, whether or not you're a member of the enemy force. and see if i'm right about the
law that if that determination is properly had, there is no requirement under the law of armed conflict to release a member of the enemy force that still presents a threat. i would like to you look at the that. >> certainly. >> thank you. now, let's talk about your time as a lawyer. the puerto rican legal defense fund, is that right? is that the name of the organization? >> it was then. i think it's -- i know it has changed names recently. >> okay. how long praw member of that organization? >> nearly 12 years. >> okay. if not 12 years. >> okay. during that time you were involved in litigation matters, is that correct? >> the fund was involved in litigation. i was a board member of the fund. >> okay. are you familiar with the position the fund took regarding taxpayer-funded abortion? the brief they filed? >> no i never reviewed those
briefs. >> well, in those briefs, they argued, and i will submit the quotes to you, if you deny a low-income woman medicaid funding, taxpayer funds to have an abortion, if you deny her that, that's form of slavery. and i can get the quotes. do you agree with that? >> i wasn't aware of what was said in those briefs. perhaps it might be helpful if i explain what the function of a board member is and what the function of the staff would be in an organization like the fund. >> okay. >> in a small organization as the puerto rican legal defense fund was back then, it wasn't the size of other legal defense funds like the naacp legal defense fund or the
mexican-american legal defense fund, which are organizations that undertook very is similar work. in an organization like particle def, the board member's main responsibility is the fund raising. i'm sure a review of the board meetings would show that is what we spent most of our time on. to the extent we looked at the organization's legal work, it was to ensure that it was consistent with the broad mission statement of the fund. >> is it the mission statement of the fund to include taxpayer-funded abortion? >> our -- >> was that one of the goals? >> our mission statement was broad, like the constitution. >> yeah. >> which meant that its focus was on promoting the equal
opportunities of hispanics in the united states. >> well, judge, i've got -- and i will share them with them, we will talk about this more, a host of briefs for a 12-year period where the fund is advocating to the state court and the federal courts that to deny a woman taxpayer funds, low-income woman taxpayer assistance in having an abortion is a form of slavery, it is an unspeakable cruelty to the life and health of a poor woman. was it or was it not the position of the fund toed a he vo kate taxpayer-funded abortions for low-income women? >> i wasn't and didn't as a board member review those briefs, our lawyers were charged. >> would it bother you if that's what they did? >> well, i know that the fund during the years that i was there was involved in public
health issues as it affected the latino community. >> is abortion a public health issue? >> well, it was certainly viewed that way generally by a number of civil rights organizations. at the time. >> do you personally view it that way? >> it wasn't a question of whether i personally viewed it that way or not. the issue was whether or not the law was settled on what issues the fund was advocating on behalf of the community it represented. >> well the fund -- i'm sorry, go ahead. >> and so, the question would become was there a good faith basis for whatever arguments they were making as the fund's lawyers were lawyers. they had an ethical obligation. quite frankly, you know, that's -- lawyers are lawyers and people who have causes that
they believe in have every right to pursue those causes and the fund, when you look -- may have been a board member, but i'm here to tell you that file briefs constantly for the idea that taxpayer-funded abortion was necessary and to deny it would be form of slavery, challenge parental concept as being cruel. and i can go down a list of issues that the fund got involved in, that the death penalty should be stricken because it has -- is a form of racial discrimination. what's your view of the death penalty in terms of -- personally? >> the issue for me with respect to the death penalty is that the supreme court since gregg has determined that the death penalty is constitutional under
certain situations. >> right. >> i have rejected challenges to the federal law and application in one case. i handled as a district court judge, but it's a reflection of what my views are on the law. . as an advocate, did you challenge the death penalty as being an inappropriate punishment because of the effect it has on race? >> i never litigated a death penalty case personally. the fund -- >> did you ever sign a memorandum saying that? >> i signed the memorandum for the board to take under consideration what position on behalf of the latino community the fund should take on new york state reinstating the death penalty in the state. it's hard to remember. so much time has passed in the
30 years. >> we will give you a chance to look at some of the things i'm talking about, 'cause i want you to be aware of what i'm talking about. let me ask you this, got 30 seconds left. if a lawyer on the other side filed a brief in support of the idea that abortion is the unnecessary and unlawful taking of an innocent life and public money should never be used for such a heinous purpose, would that disqualify them, in your opinion, from being a judge? >> an advocate advocates on behalf of the client they have and so that's a different situation than how a judge has acted in the cases before him or her. >> okay. and the only reason i mention this, judge, is that the positions you took -- or this fund took, i think, like the speeches, tell us some things and we will have a chance to
talk more about your full life but i appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, senator graham. senator durbin? >> thank you, mr. chairman. judge -- >> all right so, there he is. that was certainly one of the highlight it is not the highlight so far, the questioning of sonia sotomayor by lindsey graham, especially that very version dramatic moment when she concurred that if he would have said something along the lines, he as a white man, a caucasian felt a wise white man would make better decisions than a latino, for example, we have been over with, his career would have ended, he confronted her with it and she conc concurred, basically, a very, very dramatic moment. lots to digest. we will assess what we just heard from lindsey graham and sonia sotomayor as our coverage of these historic hearings continues. taking its rightful place
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focus of activity, u.s. capitol, inside the senate hart office building, the hearings continuing for senator sonia sotomayor to become a supreme court justice. an exchange took place between senator lindsey graham from south carolina and sonia sotomayor. i will play this clip and we will discuss. >> do you understand, ma'am, that if i had said anything like that and my reasoning was that i'm trying to inspire somebody, they would have had my head.
do you understand that that? >> i do understand how those words could be taken that way, particularly if read in isolation. >> well, i don't know how else you could take that, "lindsey graham said i would make a better senator than x because of my experience as a caucasian male makes me better able to represent the people of south carolina and my opponent was a minority." it would make national news and it should. >> the comments that he made, specifically this, october 26th, 2001, uc berkeley school of law from 2001. i would hope a wise latina woman
with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life. she was trying to inspire a new revolution of young late tinas they could reach for the stars and achieve what she has achieved. the tough questioning from lindsey graham underscored, this would have been a career ender for them along those lines. maria is here with us, teaches at uc berklism you know, you were listening to lindsey graham, very still as an inquisitor. >> i think did he a great service to the country. i hope a lot of people watched how he questioned and how he raised the issue. he concluded by saying i would hope that people would recognize a second chance that sometimes you might say something that we are moving to a place in which
blanket assertion, one group's superiority over another was unacceptable. i was moved, actually. i think he did an excellent job. and i think she is clarified for the record and i hope we can move on. >> he was as tough as possible, alex, certainly was tough but he was also sympathetic to her and he made it clear there would be a second round of questioning that we have another 20 minutes, presumably tomorrow or the day after, depending on how long all of this continues. he wants specific answers, but he might still vote to confirm her. >> certainly left the door open, one of the things we are seeing, a new development of the generation of republican leaders in the senate who are the big statesmen arising to the top now? i think lindsey graham would be the top of this list. this was the most honest moment we have seen, the least political, this wasn't just another political speech, it was very human and setting politics aside. so i think lindsey graham is
somebody the republican party is going to be looking more to. i think the big word that comes up for judge sotomayor was evasive there were moment there is where he she just -- are we at war or not? look at videotapes, you could certainly think we were and she was a little evasive. >> she shout about her answers and she said, yes, we are at war and the troops and referred to afghanistan and iraq. we know lindsey graham, he himself was a jag officer in the u.s. air force and in fact during the recesses from the senate, he often goes and serve notice u.s. air force reserves as a jag officer. last time, last summer he went to iraq for a couple weeks. so he really is a prosecutor at a certain degree. and i want to play this other clip, gloria, talk about this here he starts off relatively polite. but then listen. >> i like you, by the way, for whatever that matters.
since i may vote for you, that ought to matter to you. one thing that stood out about your record is when you look at these almanacs, the federal judiciary, lawyers anonymously rate judges in terms of temperament and here's what they said about you. "she is a terror on the bench. she is temperamental, excitable, she seems angry. she is overly aggressive, not very judicial she does not have a very good temperament. she abuses lawyers. she really lacks judicial temperament. she believes in an out of control -- she behaves in an out-of-control manner. she makes inappropriate outbursts. she is nasty to lawyers. she will attack lawyers for making the argument she does not like. she can be a bit of a bully." when you look at the evaluation of the judges on the second
circuit, you stand out like a sore thumb. >> you see quoting other attorneys saying, you know what, she is tough, her temperament might not necessarily be appropriate for the u.s. supreme court. gloria, he is a skilled questioner, as we have all been pointing out. >> you can see she was listening very intently, very difficult things to hear that other people have said about yourselves. what he said to her is he didn't attack her on it. he said, look, as you reach this juncture in your life, you may be ascending to the highest court in the land. this might be a time for self-reflection. and he kind of left it there, without having to attack her but by raising the issue, saying this is tough stuff and you really need to listen to what they are saying. >> she did say sort of defending herself, i do ask tough questions of my colleagues.
>> he does. if you look at the full entry in this lawyers' guide, senator graham did pick out the most negative comments and there were a lot of positive comments in there as well and it is worth remembering that this is an anonymous survey. and all of us who have led blog comments, i think we know that people in anonymous comments are often unduly hostile. and womens in positions of power tend to be described in precisely these terms. men are tough, women are this rill. women are battle axes. >> she was given the highest possible rating as someone very qualified to be on the supreme court by the los angeles times. >> do we learn anything new about the nominee? i think this was the first conversation. almost all of the other back and forth have been scripted, republicans come to make a political point, they let her answer the questions. a lot of the conversations with
democrats, scripted by the white house to address political points the white house needs to be made for the hearings, this is an actual conversation between senator graham and judge sotomayor where we learned a bit about his per spec sive. he essentially put her record out there he went back to the speeches, wise latina and others, went back to her work for the puerto rican legal defense fund in new york saying that it says -- has some pretty extreme language about abortion in some of his things. he said i know you didn't write those but you worked for the organization, his point is let's not kid anybody, this was your life, you worked for this organization, gave these speeches, now got to go to the supreme court. what he was essentially saying is i assume you support abortion rights, i assume you are a liberal and i will vote for you. >> candy, he himself said several times, what concerns me is not what you did on the bench. what concerns me is what you did in speeches, what did you in your capacity, working for the puerto rican legal defense fund. that's what concerns me, 'cause it does give us an insight into who you are. >> yeah, inside your head and
what you are thinking in a more freeform basis than sitting on the bench. absolutely, but he also -- even as he was doing this, there were just a number of things where you got the sense, i want to get this out here, i want to tell you, it was almost when he was talking about her temperament, it was really kind of watch this when you get to the court feel to it. it wasn't like this, that and the other thing. and i have to tell you from another standpoint, i think had it been someone else on the republican side asking that question, it would have come across far more hostile than it does with that soft-spoken, even the accent h it been somebody else it would have seemed a lot more hostile. >> said i would vet for him. disarmed him. no one else could have done this. these hearings are like the president's party is the direct examination. the cross-examination is from the opposing party. this was an exquisite cross-examination. this is a lawyer who knows what
he is doing. so many of these senators, forgive me are wind bags, they are gasbags. this guy really know what is he is doing. and it was a pleasure to watch him operate, i thought. >> this one stood out in the sense, too, that her prepared answers, rehearsed answers, democrats and republicans rehearsed and answered questions, all of a sudden, you see the raw and bluntness of lindsey graham's questioning but she still seemed to cling to a great degree to the rehearsed answers. again, if there? i weakness here where lindsey graham might not end up voting for her it might be for evasiveness. this was her opportunity to say, no, look, i will get real with you here, just as you have with me here, senator. apparently, the process doesn't allow that to happen. >> quickly because we will take a break. >> the question of are we at war, was she thinking where it was going to go in the question was it was going to go to these tough question what is is say appropriate when you have a prisoner. she was right to be thoughtful. >> all right. guys. >> come to that in the next
round. >> hold your thoughts. clearly a lot to digest here, this was certainly a very, very dramatic moment. we will take another quick break in our cav raj. we will resume right after this. we will resume right after this. come on in. you're invited to the chevy open house. where getting a new vehicle is easy. because the price on the tag is the price you pay on remaining '08 and '09 models. you'll find low, straightforward pricing. it's simple.
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at a federal prison in north carolina. the convicted ponzi mastermind was transferred there this moring to begin serving his 50-year term for bilking investors out of billions of dollars. madoff becomes one of almost 4900 inmates to the low to medium security facility. a federal bureau of prisons spokesperson will not say if he will stay at butner for the duration of his term. house democrats called their sweeping plan to overhaul the nation's health care system a path to success. the plan would boost taxes on the healthy by more than 5%, would scale back medicare and medicaid payments and would require employers and individuals to buy health coverage or be penalized. >> but it's safe to say as a guideline that when those people who get paid who have stake holders in this can come together at the white house and say that this bill over ten years would save the american people $2 trillion, those are real dollars even though they
cannot be scored by the congressional budget office. >> house leaders hope to push health care reform through three coast and i don't to the house floor for a vote before the august recess. well, officials in afghanistan say a civilian helicopter was shot down today in hellman province, killing all six people on board and a child on the ground. nato officials in kabul gave no details about the cause of the crash, except to say it was under investigation. the chopper was ferrying humanitarian aid into the region where fighting rages against the taliban. two u.s. marines and an italian soldier died in those latest clashes. do you remember the color-coded terror alert system that were devised after the 9/11 attacks? home security chief janet napolitano is rethinking it, created a task force to review the system the next 60 days to review the effectiveness. the five-tier system goes from green, the lowest threat level to red, the highest. depending on the panel's
findings the system could be overhauled or eliminated altogether. check this out, this next video. look at that. a major, yikes, disaster. a biplane, my goodness, doing aerobattics goes out of control. watch again and then collides with a car carrying a family of three. you are going to see that right about now. it happened near frankfurt, germany, the collision sheered off the bottom of the plane and sent it into the car. no one, not even the pilot suffered much more than a bump and bruises and a few scratches. boy, those people are awfully lucky, wolf. >> they certainly are. almost a miracle, as you say, amazing video. we are going to get back to you, bet itty, and get some other stories that are going on. we are continuing our coverage here in washington of the confirmation hearings of sonia sotomayor. looks like they may be getting ready to wrap it up for the day, watching to see what's going on.
live pictures of u.s. supreme court here in washington, but very, very nearby the supreme court, the u.s. congress inside this hearing room. the senate judiciary committee is continuing to question sonia sotomayor. dick durbin, the democratic senator from illinois doing the questioning right now and sonia sotomayor doing the answer. >> you described the streamlining procedures have been by, i think, all of the circuit courts that have
addressed the issue affirm and given chevron deference. so, the question is not whether the streamline procedures are constitutional or not, but what happened when he instituted that procedure is that with all new things, there were many imperfections. your approaches to things create new challenges and there's no question that courts faced with large numbers of immigration cases, as was the second circuit, i think we had the second largest number of new cases that arrived at our doorsteps, the ninth circuit being the first, and i know the seventh had quite significantly large number, we're reviewing
processes, as justice solito said, left something to be desired in a number of cases. i will say that -- that onslaught of cases and the concern cans expressed in a number of cases by the judges, in the dialogue that goes on in court cases with administrative bodies of congress resulted in more cooperation between the courts and the immigration official officials in how to handle these cases, how to ensure that the process would be improved. i know that the attorney general's office devoted more resources to the handling of these cases. there's always room for
improvement. the agency is handling so many matters, so many cases, has so many responsibilities, making sure that it has adequate resources and training is an important consideration, again in the first instance by congress, because you set the budget. in the end, what we can only do is ensure that due process is applied in each case according to the law required for the review of these cases. >> do you feel that it's changed since 2005 when judge posner said the adjudication has fallen below the minimum standards of legal justice? >> well, i'm not endorsing his views because he can only speak for himself. i do know that in -- i would say
the last two or three years, the number of cases, questioning the processes in published circuit court decisions has to be approved. >> thank you, very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator durbin. i have discussed this with senator sessions and as i told him earlier also with his -- his request, we have a -- we haven't finished the first round, but once we film fish in the first round of the questions, we will have 20-minute rounds on the second. i'm going to urge senators if they don't feel the need to use up both rounds, just as senator durbin just testimodemonstrated they will not. here will be the schedule a. we will break for today. we will begin at 9:30 in the morning, finish the first round
of questions, the last round being asked by senator franken and then we will break for the initial closed-door session with the nominee. for those that have not seen one of these before, we do this with all supreme court nominees. we have a closed session, just with the nominee. we go over the fbi report. we do it with all of them. generally say it's routine. and did it with justice roberts -- chief justice roberts and justice alito and justice breyer and everybody else. then we will come back for a round of 20 minutes each, but during that round, i will encourage senators, if they feel all questions about been asked. i realize, all questions may have been asked but not everybody may have asked all the
questions, that we try to ask at least something new to keep up the interest. and then we can determine whether we are prepared to do the panels or whether we have to do the panels on thursday. does that -- >> thank you, chairman leahy. and i do think that the scheme you arranged for this hearing is good. the way we have gone forward. i thank you for that we have done our best to be ready in a short timeframe and i believe the members of this side are ready. talking of questions, there ain't no harm in asking, isn't that a legal rule to get people to reduce their time, but there are still some important questions and i think we will certainly want to use -- most members would want to use that 20 minutes and i appreciate that and look forward to being with you in the morning. >> that's why i say ask the question, probably have violated the first rule that i learned as
a trial lawyer, you shouldn't ask a question if you don't know what the answer's going to be. but then i also have the other aspect where hope springs eternal. as we have a whole lot of other things going on in the senate, i was hoping my -- senator klobuchar, senator specter, senator frank, and i'm sorry i didn't get to you yet, but we will before we do the closed session. judge, thank you very much. >> thank you for -- >> we stand in recess. >> all right. day two is now over. day two is over. eight senators have to ask questions that will resume at 9:30 a.m. eastern. six democratic senators still have time allotted to them, 30 minutes each. two republican senators, john cornyn of texas, tom coburn of oklahoma. so, there are going to be at least four hours of questioning
tomorrow morning starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern, assuming all of those eight senators use the full 30 minutes allotted to them. some of them might not need 30 minutes and that would reduce t afterwards, as you just heard, senator patrick leahy, the chairman of this committee say they will then go into a closed door session to review some of the fbi vetting, the background checks, thens like that then they will resume the second round for all 19 senators. they will each have 20 minutes if they need 20 minutes, some of them won't need 20 minutes, to ask their questions. today though being the first day of questioning. yesterday, we know, was simply opening statements by all 19 senators followed by sonia sotomayor. no doubt the highlight, the climb mix of today's day was the questioning by lindsey graham. asked very pointed questions. we will analyze what we heard
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or with your insurance company. we can even help with financing. if there's a way, we'll find it! so don't wait any longer, call the scooter store today. day two is now over. they have broken up the senate judiciary committee confirmation hearings for senator sonia sotomayor. the hearings will resume at 9:30 a.m. eastern tomorrow morning. another eight senators have 30 minutes of questioning allotted to each of them. she will be back. she will rest up tonight and go through this process once again tomorrow.
lindsey graham, the republican senator from south carolina asked some very, very pointed questions and made some very dramatic statements. >> there are plenty of statements in the record in support of you as a person that do not go down this line. but i would just suggest to you for what it's worth judge, as you go forward here, that these statements about you are striking. they are not about your colleagues. you know, the ten-minute rule applies to everybody. and obviously, you have accomplished a lot in your life, but maybe these hearings are time for self-reflection. this is pretty tough stuff that you don't see from -- about other judges on the second circuit. >> very tough stuff indeed and said to senator sonia sotomayor maybe you should think right now at this moment, this historic moment, where presumably you are about to become an associate justice of the united states supreme court, rethinking some of the way you do business.
that was a pretty poignant statemented from lindsey graham. we are hoping, by the way to speak to lindsey graham. i hear he is going to be coming up in "the situation room" fairly soon. i want to quickly go around and get everyone's assessment, starting with candy crowley. how is day two, which is really day one in terms of questioning, how it went and whether anyone seemed on the republican side to make a dent as far as her prospects for confirmation are concerned? >> in the overall picture, i don't think so i think it was a no hit, no run, no foul day for her and that is the kind of game the white house wants. >> alex? >> i don't think she hurt herself at all. did she nail down the three republican votes the white house is hoping to get? she maybe took a step closer to it, but i'd say not necessarily. she was a bit owe vase sive at the end. >> you say three republican votes on this committee? >> to on this committee. >> seven republicans on the committee. there are some indications that three of them, potentially, including lindsey graham, chuck
grassley and orrin hatch, when all the dust settles and the vote comes up, not this week, probably next week, the week after, whatever the judiciary committee has its vote, might join all 12 democrats in voting to confirm her. were you surprised by any of the q & a today? >> i think that i was very impressed with lindsey graham. again, i think he just did a superb job. i think she revealed herself in answering the questions as being very thoughtful and very knowledgeable without giving anything away about how she is going to vote. so, i think that we may have actually heard the last of the wise latina woman, i hope. >> i suspect that is not necessarily the case. there is still two more republicans who have some questions, including john cornyn of texas tomorrow and tom coburn of oklahoma. >> you know, at the beginning of the hearing, chuck schumer said, you know, we may be able to get as many votes as chief justice roberts got, which was 78. i don't think they are going to get 78 votes.
i think they are going to get some handful of republican votes but that's it. i think this is a polarized senate. yes, it is possible they will get hatch, possible sotomayor will get lindsey graham's vote, but i don't think she is going to get anywhere near 78 votes. you know what that means? not much. she is still going to be confirmed but i don't think she is going to get -- >> a lot of republicans, especially the two women from maine, olympia snow, susan powell, likely to confirm her. is that right? >> i think absolutely likely to vote for her. there are 60 democrats. once you get above 65, it's -- i think it's very hard slogging. some democratic still on the final vet on the senate floor who just don't need to take -- >> you have anyone in mind? >> i'm still looking at -- >> this is a disagreement we have had throughout these hearings. alex keeps talking about the political risk of voting for sotomayor. you think -- >> if you are a democrat. >> or anyone.
>> for the first -- >> if you think voting against the first hispanic nominee to the court is a political risk, i think it's a political risk to vote against her, not vote for her. >> i think a lot of hispanics are going to be offended saying you have to vet for someone because they are stick. >> no. no. >> just because they are a woman. there has been certainly enough of a substantial debit on her record here that you could either vote for her or against her on her own merits. look, she has a great story, distinguished story, tremendous career, bootstrap story august long record, been on both sides of controversial issues a ton of speeches, controversial things she said, vote for or against this nominee on her own merit, not because of her ethnicity or gender and i don't think that is a political liability, but 2010 is going to be a tough political year for democrats. >> the economy, not because of sotomayor. >> they don't need to add to it by putting cultural issues on their plate like affirmative action, the death penalty. this is a judge who voted to let
felons currently in prison vote. she supported that. do you want to be a democratic candidate who rubber stamps that? >> well, i don't think she put to rest today the wise latina woman comment. i think folks on the committee, particularly republicans, agreed to sort of take her new explanation and just kind of leave it there because there is really nowhere else you can take that if she said she was meaning to inspire people, that she was talking about the obligation of judges to examine their feelings, but she really didn't put to rest. >> she also said that what she was trying to do was reiterate in a different way what sap dra day o'connor had once suggested about women on the supreme court. >> right. she did. she said that that comparison fell flat. she didn't come out and say i'm sorry i said that. >> she expressed regret. >> she regret it is now.
. she regrets it now. but i don't think -- i don't think she put it completely to rest. we are going to hear it again. >> she may not have put to rest but gone as far as she is going to go. that is t she has rested, whether or not it comes up again or not. >> that's right. but not going to change anyone's mind one way or another. >> if you look at the statements, look at the blogs, saying she has runaway from what she said in those speeches, trying to run and hide. that is what they say. they say she won't flesh out what she said in the past on rulings on gun rights that is the conservative chatter to the point of this table did it change any of the mass in the united states senate today? no. if you can watch only 30 minutes of this, didn't tune in all day, watch the 30-minute conversation, part conversation, part cross-examination with senator graham. he planted seeds to come back to the war on terror, detainee rights, executive power, on abortion rights, her past work as an attorney. planted some seeds, made it clear he wanted to come back to
those he shall use. it was, by far, the most compelling. it was an actual conversation in a hearing very, very scripted to alex's point, something worth looking at. i have been checking in the past several days on that one key question. any one, any one democrat told the white house or the senate leadership they might need a pass on this one and the answer as of two minutes ago was no. >> and you know, our senior congressional correspondent is up on the hill. you are in that room, probably pretty much empty right now, but if you know lindsey graham as most of us do, dana, you have interviewed him on many occasions, those rapid-fire questions that he asked, he was well prepared but he basically signalled to her get ready for the next round of my questioning. that's going to be -- those are going to be 20 minutes of questions. you better go home and do your homework. >> he absolutely did. this was leading the witness, i think, in its entirety, watching the lindsey graham to judge sotomayor. listening to lindsey graham many times i guess over the past six weeks or so, even after he met privately with the judge, he came out and said some of the
things he said in this room today to her face. i think he said some of it in private. particularly the concern that he has, especially as a military lawyer and somebody who has been in the jag for a long time, with the reputation she has of being a little too tough on the bench. so that was interesting that he said to her face i think one of the most interesting things was beyond all of that and beyond all of the very interesting discussion and walkback she did of the wise latina comment was she did it and wouldn't say. she was asked about executive power. she was asked about privacy issues, abortion, gun rights. and she did what she was supposed to doomed punted it almost all of those issues. they will come back to those issues, try to get her to nail her down on them. she, thanks to the experience she has around her and some of the democrats in the white house who worked on other nominations, successful nominations in the past they did a pretty good job of teaching her how to avoid talking about some of those issues she will have in front of her on the supreme court. >> i want to walk through the
schedule, dana, a little bit. looks like it is taking longer than they thought it would take. hoping to wrap all of these questions up today and go into executive or private session tomorrow to deal with some of the vetting process, the fbi background checks, things like that. there are still eight senators that have a half an hour each to ask questions. when does the judiciary committee hope to have a final vote, up or down, on sonia sotto mayer? >> pretty unclear, they want to see how this is going on. i can tell you what senator leahy has said to us and what he has said privately on the telephone with the president is that he wants to make sure that before congress recesses, the senate recesses for august he will have judge sotomayor approved and going to the supreme court that is the ultimate goal to make sure she is approved by the full senate before the august break t is unclear when the committee would actually vote. i think they will have more of a sense of that as the week goes on. >> dana bash is not going to go away.
to our viewers, you are in the situation room. happening now, pointed questions, some sparks, even protests, as the supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor speaks at length in her confirmation hearing. she is answering questions on some of the most controversial positions. there's no doubt about that. also, ran what believed to be the biggest financial scam in history, now bernard madoff arrives at his new home yes may spend the rest of his life. and new developments in those murders that shocked the nation, seven people now in custody, suspected of killing a couple with 16 children, most of them adopted, many with special needs. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. begin with those seven
people now in custody in the murder case involving that florida couple with 16 kids. cnn's ed laugh ven der rah is on the scene for us, joining us with the latest developments. another dramatic day in this horrible crime, ed? >> reporter: it really has been, wolf. the sheriff here a short time ago announcing that now, in all, seven people have been arrested for the murders of the billings' couple can and it is the end of a long investigation, but authorities here say it is still not over. authorities say leonard patrick gonzalez jr. was the ringleader of the seven suspects that allegedly murdered byrd and melanie billings. but in a short court hearings, gonzalez surprisingly used the home to declare his innocence. it is the first time we have heard from any of the accused. >> circumstantial evidence [ inaudible ].
>> reporter: we don't know who gonzalez is talking about exactly but investigators they have arrested all the men who carried out what they call the methodical and chilling murders of the billings' couple. these are the pictures of the suspects facing charges, one we can't show you because's 16-year-old juvenile. three from a pensacola area, the other four from the fort walton beach area. gonzalez jr. and donald ray stallworth have a military background. the air force confirms stallworth is currently an active duty staff sergeant. >> it was a very well-planned and well-executed operation. >> reporter: after saying robbery was one of several possible motives, authorities now say the suspects burst into the home, killed the couple and then stole a medium-sized safe. they squashed suggestions that something more sinister was behind the killings. >> i think the safest, easiest, clearest thing to say the primary motive in this case is robbery. home invasion/robbery.
>> reporter: investigator says leonard gonzalez senior and wayne coldiron were occasionally hired to work around the billings' property but beyond that, there doesn't appear to be any connection between the seven suspects and the billings' family. >> they have wound them and they are in custody. >> as the final arrests were announced, ashley mark couple, the oldest daughter of byrd and melanie billings tearfully stood by the sheriff's side but she left without speaking out. wolf, the reason i say that the sheriff says this investigation isn't completely over yet, even though they have seven people who they are going to charge with murder in this case, they still say that there is one person that they know of, that they know the location of, but they are interested in continuing to pursue that person. it is possible this could reach eight people in all. wolf? >> who is taking care of these 16 kids right now, 'cause that is a heart-wrenching thought for all of us, these parents, 16 kids now without a mother or
father? >> reporter: yeah that is the incredibly tough part part about this and something i think the emotional weight as you saw ashley mark couple there carrying into these press conferences. we understand some of the family members will hold another press conference tomorrow as well. what we have been told so far is that family members are taking care of these children and they will continue to do so and everyone that we have been able to speak with here in the sheriff's office when asked how these children are doing, best they can be expected, especially they are surrounded by loving family members at this point but kept in a private location. >> ed laugh van dare rah reporting from pensacola. thank you. another major story unfolding right now here in washington, d.c., the controversial f-22 fighter jet. there is a possibility this fighter jet is going away. let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr, working the story for us. lots of people want to see the end of this plane. why?
>> well, wolf, according to the pentagon, this is a plane that is really no longer needed pentagon, this is a plane no longer needed. it is a showdown between the white house, the pentagon and congress over how billions in taxpayer money may be spent. the f-22 fighter jet costs about $50,000 an hour to keep in the air. it's never flown in either the afghanistan or the iraq war. president obama says enough is enough. he doesn't want anymore and he is willing to have a showdown with congress over that decision. one of his biggest allies, his former political opponent. >> what may arise from ending the f-22 program is operationally acceptable. >> reporter: in a letter to congress, he said he will veto the congress spending bill if it involves money for the f-22
spending bill. defense secretary, robert gates has been fighting for months to force congress to shut down production after 187 have a kraft saying the air force has other planes it can use. >> to be blunt about it, the notion that not buying 60 more f-22s imperils the national security of the united states i find completely nonsense. mark me down as undecided. >> reporter: supporters, mainly legislators in states where the f-22 is manufactured, like georgia, say the plane is vital to keeping the usair force number one in the skies. >> it is this administration that is making the decision to determine nate t terminate the best tactical airplane ever conceived. >> reporter: he says if you
terminate the program, it will cost 95,000 jobs and a lot of jobs would be in his home state of georgia, wolf. >> the controversy over the f-22 is not necessarily all that unusual. there is a lot of other very sophisticated fighter systems, war machines, that some people say have outlived their usefulness. the country is spending billions of dollars on new fighter aircraft. what is the threat they are going after. who is really out there that can challenge the u.s. military to a dogfight in the sky? well, they talk about russia or china. but that would be in the future. right now, neither of those countries, north korea, none of them have air forces that would really challenge the usair force in the sky. the other question out there, the other potential threat, what if the u.s. wanted to attack iran's nuclear program using air power, would this even be the plane that they would try to use
to go after iran's nuclear program? air force ics perts say it likely wouldn't be the f-22. all of this raising the question at least in gates' mind, why is he spending billions on a plane. more money that he says he doesn't need to spent. wolf? >> president obama says he wants to prepare the next generation for the jobs of the future. the plan he is unveiling in a state where unemployment is sky high. the highest unemployment in the nation and likely to keep on rising. goldman sachs leaves the financial crisis in the does the. the wall street firm's astounding profits. you have questions. who can give you the financial advice you need? where will you find the stability and resources to keep you ahead of this rapidly evolving world? these are tough questions. that's why we brought together two of the most powerful names in the industry. introducing morgan stanley smith barney. here to rethink wealth management. here to answer... your questions. morgan stanley smith barney.
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there will be no increase in overall force levels. three division headquarters and eight brigade combat teams will begin making the switch a little later this year. they are currently 128,000. there are currently 128,000 american troops in iraq. well, opposition leader, mir hossein mousavi is reportedly taking steps to build a new political front in iran. aswording could the "associated press," a top aid says he will create an umbrella group composed of reformed-minded political party. it will be his first concrete move in the wake of the crackdown. mousavi has vowed to continue hs campai campaign his campaign.
a new swine flu outbreak. 67 cadets have confirmed cases of the h1n1 viruses and another 30 are showing symptoms and the academy is showing symptoms. all six freshmen are in isolation. so far, not one of them has been hospitalized. the general manager of washington's metrorail system says since last month's deadly crash, trains are operated exclusively on manual. thousands of tracks have been affected and older railcars are now positioned in the middle of the train. john ketoe testified today before a house subcommittee hearing. >> first, i would like to extend my sympathy and those of all metro employees to the families of those who died in this accident. i, as well as all metro employees are sanded by this event but my grief is only small compared to the grief of the families that lost their lives.
>> nine people were killed and another 70 injured june 22nd when a metro train slammed into another train on the red line. wolf? >> very sad indeed. hopeless sons are being learned. right now, baghdad is very, very i excited. they have' lot of pride. it has done something it hasn't been able to do in many years. balls and sport are replacing booms. cnn's michael ware is in baghdad. >> reporter: welcome to international football, baghdad style. this is the first time international since the ban was imposed in 2002 in the leadup to the u.s. invasion. excuse me, guys, excuse me. just here, they are playing their first home game, iraq against palestine. this stadium is filled to
capacity with intense security. as the war continues but it is this game, this has been the iraqi people's disconnect from the horror around them. this is the only thing that's united the iraqi people. when they won the asian cup, the violence stopped for a moment as the entire country celebrated. today, we see it again. this truly is one of baghdad's all too few grand days. it is football that has connected everybody together. michael ware, cnn, baghdad. >> iraq's soccer team won that game. they are ranked 94th in the world. these days, they play for the sports. just a few years ago, playing could have meant life and death. before the 2003 u.s.-led invasion, sadam hussein's son was widely known to have run
iraq's national soccer team with an iron fist. players that didn't perform well were said to be humiliated, thrown in prison and tortured. some were told their legs would be cut off. you will remember ude hussein died in the attack in 2003 and is buried next to his father and his brother. to our viewers, you are in "the situation room." happening now, the president's supreme court nominee admits her words fell flat. she offers a new explanation of the comment that led to accusations of racial bias against her. this hour, what we are learning from the second day of her confirmation hearing. president obama warned the worse may be yet to come for unemployed workers. his new message in michigan about the economy and education. the oxygen masks fell, passengers held on and many of them prayed. how a football size hole forced the emergency landing of a
southwest jet. could it happen again? we want to welcome our viewers from the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." president obama is confronting harsh economic realities in michigan. the jobless rate in that state, 14.1%. that's the highest in the nation. mr. obama acknowledges it may only get worse in the months ahead. so he is trying to focus in on a long-term plan, a plan to train workers for what he calls jobs of the future. our senior white house correspondent, ed henley, traveled with the president, to warn michigan. ed? >> well, wolf, it's interesting. the president, big push tad for more education money. people here in michigan really feeling the economic pain because of the auto industry's lows. the president was greeted by a blistering editorial in the
detroit news saying that his stimulus plan has not worked. he came to macomb county to the democrats so pivotal in the elections. voters here nervous, concerned, apprehensive about the economy. the president trying to reassure them saying it is going to take time for the stimulus to work but vowed that his number one job is turning this economy around and getting it back on its feet. he had a poke at the republicans as he made his point. >> it's a job i gladly accept. i love these folks who helped get us in this mess and suddenly say, well, this is obama's economy. that's fine. give it to me. my job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and huff and gripe. >> trying to show that he is rolling up his sleeves, getting to work specifically unveiling a plan today to pump more than $12 billion into community colleges, like the one here in macomb
county. basically, more scholarships and more money for facilities to try to improve them and encourage millions more people to come to community college. the president is saying, when you have jobs like in the auto industry that may have disappeared all together, not just for a short period of time, people need to be retrained and go back to community colleges to learn new skills. that's his push today. president of the united states, openly a few days ago, he was in europe, in africa. now, he is here in michigan. it's a sort of a stark reality of the enormity of what's going on in terms of the economy domestically. >> absolutely. >> yesterday, in the rose garden, you saw him immediately focusing bang focusing back on the domestic agenda. trying to pump new life into that. on the second day back, coming here to michigan, pivotal state in the midwest, trying to show he is all over the economy as well. on the way home, he will stop in st. louis for the major league
all-star game. he is trying to show the american people he is on top of the economy and health care, wolf. >> we are going to have more on that part of the story. coming up. missouri, an important state. the president barrel lost to john mccain there. meanwhile, a stunning turnaround by the banking giant, goldman sachs. second quarter profits shattering expectations. let's go to our chief business correspondent, ali velshi. a dramatic success for goldman sachs. what's going on? >> you were just talking to ed about how important the economy seems to be to the president. that's why he is shuffling around the story. goldman sachs, you wouldn't know we had an economic problem. i will show you what they brought in in the second quarter, april to june of 2009. $3.4 billion. that's net profit. $3.4 billion, that top line, from january to june so far this year, this company has cleared a profit of $5.25 billion.
goldman sachs wasn't without problems. a lot of people are wondering, how on earth did this company turn around and make this kind of money while the rest of us are still seeing jobs being lost and markets treading water, wolf? >> it is true. all of this is true. goldman sachs has returned the so-called tarp money that the federal government gave them in the bailout. they are free and clear. i know, ali, you remember this. they did get billions of dollars from aig, billions that the federal government gave aig, the insurance giant, because of some of the insurance investments they have. >> first of all, the money that was given back by goldman sachs to the government. that allowed them to issue their bonuses and not fall under restrictions about what they pay. the aig money was sort of insurance. they were called credit default swaps. they had bought it against their investment in aig diminishing. they were paying it. that's part of why goldman sachs is doing better. let me give you a few bullet
points as to why goldman was doing better. it had less subprime exposure tran lehman brothers or bear stearns or merrill lynch. that was the stuff that took a lot of these banks down. it had better risk management. while they were making big betts on mortgages and other things like that, they had a group of people who were instructing them to bet against that and those are the very people who bought these credit default swaps from aig and when the mortgage situation started to go bad, goldman sachs actually made some money out of it. goldman sachs has a great deal of diversified investment. they weren't just betting on one side of the house. they really did bet all over the place. this is part of the history of goldman sachs. these kind of profits are attracting a lot of attention. some of it negative. some could get very political when people start to see. look at how goldman is doing? >> lehman brothers gone, bear stearns gone, goldman sachs
picking up some of their business. goldman sachs has some very prominent alumni. among them, robert rubin, the treasury secretary under president bill clinton. he spent 26 years at goldman sachs. josh bolton spent five years in london before joining george w. bush's campaign and becoming the white house chief of staff. steven friedman was a former goldman sachs partner and treasury secretary, henry paulson was chairman and ceo of goldman sachs. a lot of alumni in prominent position. a long day of questioning for sonya sotomayor on this second day of her confirmation hearing. she gave a more detailed explanation of her controversial remark saying that a wise latino woman might make better decisions than a white man.
the first day of actual questioning of this nominee. >> reporter: almost six hours of questioning during this first day of q and a with the senators. you know, it really ranged from questions about her judicial philosophy and her temperament. democrats got to her on it before republicans could. >> for all these charges and counter charges, the wise lat tina and on and on. here is your chance? >> i want to stay up front unequivocally and without doubt. i do not believe that any ethnic, racial, or gender group has an advantage in sound judging. >> reporter: but judge sotomayor's denials of buy yas
bias did little to reassure republicans. >> i am very concerned that what you are saying today is quite inconsistent with your statement that you willingly accept that your sympathies, opinions and prejudices may influence your decision making. >> reporter: after justice sessions asked a dozen questions, she backed off a rhetorical flourish that held flat. >> it was bad, because it left an impression that i believe that life experiences commanded a result in a case but that's clearly not what i do as a judge. >> reporter: perhaps the most dramatic line of questioning came from a republican who is open to voting for her. >> do you understand, ma'am, that if i had said anything like that, and my reasoning was that i am trying to inspire somebody, they would have had my head. do you understand that?
>> i do understand how those words could be taken that way, particularly if read in isolated. >> i don't know how she could say that lindsey graham said that i will make a better senator than x, because of my experience as a caucasian male. >> reporter: studiously taking notes from start is to finish, sotomayor treaded carefully on hot button issues that make any supreme court nomination politically charged. on abortion, she suggested roe v wade is settled law, hard for the court to reverse. she sidestepped questions on other controversial issues, everything from gun rights to executive power, extreme caution was today's watch word. that really frustrated some republicans who called her e-vail sieve. th they are thrilled, the
democrats, with her performance. one senior official boasted, no one layed a glove on her. there are, of course, several more rounds to go. >> the questioning will resume, 9:35 a.m. tomorrow morning. we will have live donch. dana, thank you. >> after a potential bombshell, there is news that the c.i.a. director told lawmakers the former vice president, dick cheney, ordered the cia not to tell them about a secret counter terror program. a full-scale investigation coming up. regarding michael jackson's kids, a newspaper claims, she has sold her kids again. debbie rowe's lawyer put out an angry response. you are flying out of 34,000 feet when out of nowhere, a football size hole opens up in a plane. could this happen? it did. could it happen again? >> yes. taking its rightful place
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it was never operational. it was widely discussed. congress would not inform about it. should it have been informed about it? >> i think probably so. we still don't know the full facts in this case. what we seem to know is that after 9/11, congress was informed by the bush white house or bush administration that the president had approved the killing of al qaeda operatives. they were never informed of what the follow-up plan was? they never did have an operational plan. they were thinking, from all the reports, of setting up small teams of commandos. to kill people at low range.
congress does expect the executive branch to keep congress fully informed with some loopholes. you know this is always a fight, how much to tell congress. congress wants to know everything and it is appropriate under the law to be informed. the executive branch terribly worried if they tell too many people up on capitol hill, a very secret program will suddenly be in the newspapers. it will be leaked and the whole program collapses on them. >> the most sensitive information is only supposed to be shared with the gang of eight, the house and senate democratic and republican leaders and the chairman and their ranking members of the intelligence committee is supposed to be kept to those eight. there is this loophole that you talk about in the 1947 national security act. it says that they should share information on these operations with congress to the extent
consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters. so there is a loophole? >> there is a loophole. it was written in there intentionally with the executive branch pushing for it. they wanted a fuzzy gray area where they would have more discretion. in this case, they exercised their discretion not to tell. the problem is, for a long, long time, there has been this fight, this struggle. with the bush administration, there came to be an excessive sense of secrecy and an excessive sense of presidential powers. congress got very, very agitated about that. so when it is learned now when you have a new president obama that these things were going on, they are on the war path to figure out, what happened, why were we not told, how do we hold the cia more accountable.
leon panetta is caught in the middle. he wants to be responsive to congress and keep the morale of the cia high. the president doesn't want a full-blown investigation. he would much varather have sotomayor be front and center and his health plan be front and center. this is a classic washington con tro versus spending against the cia and the bush administration. we don't quite know where it is going to wind up. >> i suspect it will wind up with some investigation, committee hearings by the house and or senate committee. the big question is, will they call them up in public hearing or behind closed doors? >> i suspect behind closed doors
to start. imagine you are on a plane and suddenly, you can look up and see the sky through the roof. it happened on a southwest airlines flight, new details of a nightmare in the sky. also, the couldn't interest i's newest senator gets a front row seat to history. minnesota's al franken, part of the sonya sotomayor confirmation hearing. new developments over the custody battle of michael jackson's hearings. combination of seven tantalizing flavors your cat craves. friskies signature blend. feed the senses.
a nightmare in the skichlt a hole opens up in a southwest flight in midair forcing emergency landing and lots of questions need to be answered. we asked cnn's brian todd to take a closer look at this nightmare. what happened? >> reporter: first, we are going to show you this hole. a size of a football, forward of the tail section of the plane. there is the hole with part of the fuselage flapped out of it.
experts say contrary to popular myth, passenger aircrafts are built to withstand damage like this. experts are telling us, keep an eye on the issue of wear and tear. a reunion on the ground. a passenger recalls what it was like to get her small children through the ordeal when a football size hole in the fuselage forced their southwest airlines jet to make an emergency landing. >> as a parent, you are doing a lot of talking and that kind of thing and how you've never gone through this before and it's kind of exciting and -- >> reporter: no one was injured when the plane with more than 130 people aboard veered off its nashville to baltimore route and landed in charleston, west virginia. a southwest airlines spokesperson tells us there is no word on the cause. investigators tell us metal fatigue will be thoroughly examined. the age of the aircraft also
contributes to metal fatigue. this boeing came into service in 1994. it is not the number of years that determine the wear and tear but cycles, each takeoff and landing is one cycle. >> you will see some characteristic marks that look lie rings of sand on the beach as the tied goes in and out that shows how the metal may have fatigued. >> reporter: the possibility of metal fatigue has experts recalling this horrific 1988 accident when the top of an aloha jet peeled off killing a flight attendant. we talked about that with peter golds. >> reporter: are there any comparisons you can draw with the southwest airlines flight to something far more catastrophic like this aloha airlines jet in 1988? >> this was the watershed event
for the aging aircraft program that keeps our planes flying safety. the ntsb investigated this accident and found it was a combination of fatigue in the rivets combined with corrosion from flying in a high salt environment. >> reporter: gold says the salt content in the pacific air took a massive toll on the fuselage of that 737. with the southwest airlines plane, it is more than likely that metal fatigue was the result of the takeoff and landing cycles or possible maintenance mishap with that section of the fuselage. he said it could have been like a mechanic dropping a wrench on it which combined with the age and wear and tear that could have caused this. >> we know that southwest airlines last year was penalized by the faa for operating planes without conducting these checks for fuselage cracking. do we know if this plane, this specific plane was one of those checked? >> we checked with the faa and
southwest airlines about that. southwest tells us they are not sure if this was among that fleet of planes. faa officials say they are trying to determine that. this one official said that the damage in this plane from last night was forward on the plane from the area where a lot of those cracks were discovered last year. it is unclear whether this is part of that fleet. so that may be determined later. >> it shouldn't be hard to determine that. thanks very much, brian for that. >> reporter: >> reporter: sonya sotomayor said it over and over, that it is not her job to plmake the la. michael jackson's ex-wife accused of trying to leverage her kids for cash. her lawyer responds to claims that a custody deal has been struck. senator al franken, front row to seat to history, the former comedian takes the presidential supreme court nominee very seriously.
judge sotomayor under the microscope takes a grilling from ifrg everything on her brak ground to roe versus wade. new senator, al franken makes his debut. he is taking his job very seriously. the custody drama over michael jackson's children. lawyers for the biological mother of two of them deny reports she is using them as a bargaining chip to make money. all of this coming up blues the best political team on television. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room."
there are new twists and turns surrounding michael jackson's children after his death. today, a newspaper reported that the mother of the two kids, quote, sold her kids again. claiming debbie rowe worked out a custody deal with katherine jackson, michael jackson's mother. rowe's lawyers maintain that's fals. let's go to randi kaye. she has been working the story for us. what do we know about this latest development an the overall investigation, randi? >> reporter: the "new york post" is reporting that debbie rowe has reached a deal in exchange for the two children she had with michael gentleman can son for $4 billion. the newspaper also said she would forfeit her parental rights, all of this supposedly according to a family source. cnn called debbie rowe's attorney to ask if this story was true. we were told, simply, quote, completely false. that was all we got.
hours later, her attorney, eric george, demanded a retraction and told cnn it stands by its story but rose' attorney sent this letter to the paper. it reads this letter constitutes a demand for an immediate retraction. there has been no agreement reached between ms. rowe and the jacksons and she has not and will not give up her parental rights. also, no determination has been reached concerning custody or visitation. what's interesting, wolf, about this letter is it never says there aren't negotiations taking place behind the scenes. it just says an agreement has not been reached. we reported last night that a deal is being brokered and that debbie rowe, according to our source close to the family, is expected to be paid many millions forgiving up custody and visitation with the two children. >> you also, ran di, had a chance to speak with the man in
charge of michael jackson's security detail. did he shed new light on michael jackson's apparent drug problem? >> reporter: he did. i spoke with this man. he worked to are jackson from 2001 until 2004. he told me, jackson and i spoke of his addiction and he told me how hard he was working and trying to do everything in his power to get off prescription drugs. this man told me that michael jackson knew he had a drug problem and was adridicted to prescription drugs. he said, they would stay up all night until 5:00 in the morning because michael jackson could not shut off his brain. the way he put it was, he had a quote, constant beat in his head. so michael jackson was really having a hard time sleeping but i want to update you on one big thing today, wolf, from the investigation. we've reported there is this list of doctors that our source told us investigators have been working their way through and
learning what they can about the doctors and when they possibly prescribed michael jackson trying to figure out which of these medications, if any, may have contributed to his death. our source told us last week that along with jackson's personal physician, his long-time dermatologist is on the list of doctors being looked at. today, late in the day, it turns out that a swarm of media d descended on dr. klein's office. the coroner was there to pick up more records related to his treatment of jackson. we know that jackson was at his office a few days before. klein said when he was there, he danced for other patients and looked healthy. ed winter, the assistant coroner spoke after he left dr. klein's office. this is what he said. >> we're still conducting our investigation. there is a security hold on the case. i can't comment either way. >> are these new documents or are you looking at medication as well? >> no, no. we are looking for documentation that dr. klein has agreed to
provide. >> medical records that dr. klein has agreed to provide? >> we hope to have the findings probably the middle of this ner next week. >> how many medical records have you been able to get? >> dr. klein has cooperated with us extensively. >> what this means for the investigation, wolf, still unclear. certainly, investigators appear to still be gathering as much information as they can to try and make sense of what role his many doctors might have played in his death. >> randi kaye doing excellent reporting as she always does. let's bring in jim more, chief correspondent for inside edition. what do you make of this, back and forth between the "new york post" and debbie rowe's attorney, deal or no deal. >> debbie rowe's attorney didn't say there is no deal in the works. he said there is no deal. he said she doesn't want any additional money over and above
that which she already agreed to with michael jackson. i don't know that that is inconsistent. all he is saying quite emfast particularly is that the deal isn't done, the deal isn't signed. she has not and will not give up her parental rights. there may be something in this where she may want some visitation of the children. joe jackson could be the wild card in this. you know that debbie rowe spoke to an attorney last week and made it very clear that she did not want her children to be raised by joe jackson, especially in light of the fact that michael jackson had for years claim he was abused by joe jackson. we heard joe jackson talk about the poe teng tential of getting kids in show business. there are some wild cars here. we have been told that both sides are talking. we have every reason to believe this can be worked out without a bitter court battle. >> we know that the scheduled resumption of the custody
hearing is supposed to be next monday unless further delay. what does california law say her rights are as the biological mother of the two older kids, parental rights? >> she is presumed to have custodial rights as the biological mother. the judge has to take into interest what is in the best interest. these children do not know her to be their mother. that doesn't mean she doesn't have rights. you have to take what's best for the children. debbie rowe only has interest in two of the children. there are three children involved here. you don't want to split up the kids. they know katherine, they know the aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews. there is a family bond. katherine has made it clear, she wants to raise these kids in a normal, loving environment. that doesn't mean that debbie rowe doesn't have rights. she is going to have to show that this is in the best interest for the kids for her to have two of them. >> jim more, thanks very much. we will speak with you tomorrow. it's a remark that comes
i believe my record of 17 years demonstrates fully that i do believe that judges must apply the law and not make the law. my record shows that at no point or time have i ever permitted my personal views or sympathies to influence an outcome of a case. the job of a judge is to apply the law. so it's not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. it is the law.
>> sonya sotomayor very firm in explaining what she sees her role to be. let's assess what happened today. gloria borger, john king, and jeff toobin are here. did she make her case convincingly, j he have? >> i think she did what she had to do. she had an answer on the wise latina case. she made a mistake, she spoke imperfectly. she made clear she doesn't think latinas are smarter or better judges than other people. are answers are out there. >> lindsey graham had this exchange with her. he put her really in the hot seat. >> do you understand, ma'am, if i had said anything like that, and my reasoning was that i'm trying to inspire somebody, they would have had my head?
do you understand that? >> i do understand how those words could be taken that way, particularly if read in isolation. >> i don't know how you could take that lindsey graham said, i will make a better senator than x because of my experience as a caucasian male makes me better able to represent the people of south carolina and my opponent was a minority. it would make national news and it should. >> he really was tough with her. >> he was very tough with her. i think he gets the award for being the most honest questioner, the most down to earth questioner. he scored points but not just for political reasons. he allowed at the outset. i might end up voting for you. i'm not going to make this
particular statement, the make or break statement but he did say to her, look, you've got to watch your words when you speak publicly. he also made the case, wolf that she has to watch her temperament. he said, also, i might still vote for you after all is said and done. >> that was the most captivating and compelling. it was more of a conversation, less scripted and rehearsed. he is a practiced attorney as well as a practiced politician. he also planted some seeds on war powers, president war powers, detainees at quaun tgua bay. he tried to flush her out about her position back when she was an advocate. the key position was, it was tough love. he said, i will probably vote for you in the end even though i disagree with you.
>> he was a little misleading about how constitutional law works. does the constitution say anything about abortion? it doesn't say anything about school segregation but that's unconstitutional. the constitution doesn't say you can't force a child to salute the flag if it is against their religion? the words of the constitution are the beginning. they are keet part. i think that was a little misleading. >> he read some statements other lawyers have made regarding her anonymously with no names attached, not very flattering, indeed? he said, you know what, you are about to become a supreme court justice. maybe it is time you rethink some of the way you do business. >> he said, maybe this is time for a little bit of reflection. he made the point that there are others who praised her. these are anonymous statements that are made by people. you know, it's very easy to criticize somebody anonymously. i think she took it to heart.
what we saw today from lindsey graham was part one. this was the softer stuff, setting the ground for the other questions he is going to raise. i also think he set the ground for asking questions about the death penalty, how she feels about the death penalty. he is going to come back like the good lawyer that he is now that he has laid the ground work and you are going to see the questions get tougher on substance. >> she is going to be confirmed. we know that, barring some major bombshell. >> there were some very interesting legal discussions today. there will be more. on the political calculation, the democrats have 60 votes, which means she has to lose 10 to make it iffy. she will probably get a couple of republican votes, maybe 10 or 12. the first cal cculation, is she losing any democrats? if you ask the white house, they will tell you not one has come to them saying they are worried on how they vote on that one. >> 9:30 tomorrow morning, the questioning continues. all of us will be watching. thanks, guys.
let's check in with lou. he is watching this an a lot more. complete coverage of day two of judge sotomayor's confirmation hearing on capitol hill. tonight, we examine the judge's latest retreat from her previous statements, this time from her controversial assertion that a wise latino woman would make better judgments than a white male. we will take a look at her thoughts regarding gun rights and segregation. an investigation into the policies of former president bush and vice presiden cheney. we will ask whether an investigation is warranted, whether democrats are playing politics with national security. who will be the winner?
who will be the loser? that's the subject of our face-off debate tonight. join us for all of that, all of today's news and more at the top ovt hour. wolf, back to you. from "saturday night live" to the u.s. senate, snl fans will hardly recognize al franken as he takes a new front row seat in history. we all know you shouldn't text while driving. one teen learns the hard way why you probably shouldn't text while walking either.
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jessica is watching this for us. >> senator franken will be in the spotlight tomorrow as you say the most junior senator in the committee. he'll get a chance a to grill sonia sotomayor. some advice. don't hold your breath waiting for a punchline. like a kid starting school he was the first to show up for the judiciary hearing and he seems to be making friends. less than seven days into his term, senator al franken is striking a tone that's somber -- >> i am concerned that americans are making knew barriers to extend their individual rights. >> to committee chair man patrick leahy -- >> i have admired your rank. >> i look forward to working over the years with you and my other republican colleagues. >> and to the committee as a whole. >> i know i have a lot to learn from each of you. >> don't hold your breath waiting for a punchline. no jokes here.
the former comedian barely smiled. it's the same franken we saw running the race for the senate seat but the voice is instantly recognizable to fans of "saturday night live." >> i'm good enough, smart enough, and doggonnit, people like me. >> i say senator franken, you think -- >> joke. >> i'm strong enough, i'm good enough, and doggonnit, people like me. >> but they're flexible saying he can earn their respect. >> yeah. it death penalties on what he does when he's in there, not what he did before, but what he's about now. >> he'll have a chance to show his stuff when he begins questioning sotomayor during the hearing on wednesday. and over the last few days, franken has been spotted walking around the capitol asking the capitol police for directions. he's clearly the new guy on the job. he has said already he plans to take a low profile, take time to learn and he will not be a
rubber stamp for the democratic agenda. >> we'll watch. thank you very much. president obama landed in st. louis just a short while ago with the baseball legend willy mays at his side. the president is set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the all-star tonight. it will be only the fifth time that a commander in chief has performed that honor. presidents routinely throw out the first baseball at major league baseball games on opening day or at the world series, but it's been more than 30 years since a president took the pitcher's mound at the mid summer classic. that would be gerald ford, rixard kennedy, john f. nixon and franklin roosevelt. i hope he throws a good strike in three. some people can't walk and text messages at the same time.
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in this age of text messaging it seems to be getting harder and harder to watch where you're going. cnn jeanne moos has the most of a story of a teenager who learned the hard way that texting while walking can land you in some deep trouble. >> reporter: it's one of those stories that almost sounds like a joke. did you hear about the girl that fell in the manhole while texting? >> oh, my god. >> reporter: this 15-year-old from staten island fell 16 feet
into this manhole. >> like there was no warning of a big open hole. >> how could my kid fall down a manhole. >> reporter: for one thing workers left the manhole open her mom says while they went to get safety cones, but the daughter was also checking out a text message on a cell phone. and when folks heard texting involved folks were throwing insu insults. this one translates to, oh, my god, be right back, i landed in sewer. talk to you later once i'm out here. people who hurt themselves texting while walking shouldn't throw over a cone. >> i tripped over a cone. >> i had a tree branch -- i snapped a tree branch. >> i run into this pole, we call them a pole. run into the middle of dog leashes. >> i ran into a bicyclist two days ago. >> how about a motorcyclist
texting while driving on a motorcycle. in an age of texting while free-falling, not to mention falling asleep, someone coined this term in a mock public service website called gizmoto. we all have our excuses. >> i was checking dates. >> i read. i go through and delete e-mails. >> i am embarrassed by texting. there should be a black line over it. >> reporter: in london a certain street was outfitted with padding to protect preoccupied texters. if it seem as little staged, turns out this was a stunt involving the phone directly company but at the rate we're going, we could use a little sonar in our cell phones as demonstrated by this hungarian research group. have you ever had any mishaps texting while walking? >> yeah. i stepped in dog poo. >> at least she didn't end up